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J Emerg Med. 2013 Apr;44(4):875-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2012.09.041. Epub 2013 Jan 12.

A survey of the prevalence of cell phones capable of receiving health information among patients presenting to an Urban Emergency Department.

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  • 1New York University School of Medicine/Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mobile devices have been shown to assist patients with comprehension of health information, yet sparse data exist on what mobile devices patients own and preferences for receiving health information.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the prevalence of mobile devices capable of receiving health information among patients/visitors presenting to an urban Emergency Department (ED).

METHODS:

A random sample of patients/visitors ≥18 years was surveyed. The primary outcome was prevalence of mobile devices capable of receiving health information among patient/visitor units presenting to the ED. Means and 95% confidence intervals were derived for continuous data; proportions with Fisher's exact 95% confidence intervals were derived for categorical data. Institutional review board approval was received before study initiation.

RESULTS:

Surveyors approached 1307 subjects: 68% (885) were eligible; 70% (620) agreed to participate; 4 participants were excluded, leaving 70% (616) in the final sample. Of the 616 participants, 82% stated cell phone ownership (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79-0.85). Among cell phone owners (n = 507), 90% had the device with them (95% CI 0.87-0.92) in the ED. Of these participants (n = 456), 77% had text messaging (95% CI 0.73-0.81), 51% had Internet (95% CI 0.47-0.56), 51% had e-mail (95% CI 0.46-0.56), 39% could download audio content (95% CI 0.34-0.43), and 35% could download videos (95% CI 0.31-0.40). Even among those having an annual income ≤$20,000, nearly 80% of persons owned cell phones.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cell phones capable of receiving health information are prevalent among patients/visitors presenting to an urban ED.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23321292
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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